Saturday, Dec. 8, the Mission Chamber of Commerce plans its fourth annual Welcome Home Winter Texan Party at Leo Peña Placita Park located on Conway and Business 83, across from H-E-B in downtown Mission. The party will run from 1 to 4 p.m. with a pre-show starting at 12:15 p.m.
Cowboy poet Rich Bellert will act as emcee of the event and will intersperse introductions with recitations of his favorite cowboy poetry. Bellert, who is an award-winning cowboy poetry reciter, has appeared at the Midwest Country Theatre in Sandstone, Minnesota and has been seen on the RFD-TV Network. In November Bellert appeared at the “Working Ranch Rodeo and Breakfast” held on the King Ranch near Kingsville. He was inducted into the National Traditional Country Music Association Hall of Fame in 2011.
At 12:15 students from the Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary School Choral Group will begin the fun by singing Christmas carols. At 12:45 p.m. The Catholic War Veterans from Mission Post 1065 will presents the colors followed by the pledge of allegiance. The National Anthem will be sung by Krystal Cavazos, who is the current “Miss Tip of South Texas.” Reverend Roy Snipes, OMI, will offer an invocation. Entertainment will kick off at 1 p.m. with five top performing groups providing 30-minutes shows.
Joy Norris and The Sunshine and Brass Band will open the show. Joy has sung most of her life and was told by her mother that she was humming music before she could talk. She entered a talent show at age 11 where Slim Willet, who wrote, “Don’t Let the Stars Get in your Eyes,” was a judge. He told her mother, “That girl can really sing!”
Along with Jack Stocks, Joy recently put together a band called “Sunshine and Brass,” fulfilling her longtime desire to work as a professional singer. The band includes Stocks on lead guitar, a saxophone, keyboard and drums and Joy as lead vocalist.
The Cowboy and the Hobo Show includes a truly diverse musical group that performs classic country, folk and rock from border to border across the USA. While Minnesota is home, the group is well known by Winter Texans for their ability to perform.
Charles Casterline, a.k.a. Cactus Willie, is nephew to legendary bluegrass artist Lester Flatt. His guitar picking style and voice hints of Willie Nelson; he often gets requests to sing songs made famous by Willie Nelson.
The band, put together in 2004 consists of Bob Selby a.k.a. Boxcar Bob, who has been mistaken for country recording artist Boxcar Willie, known for his train songs. Wil Kelly, known as “The Drifter,” adds an expert bass player with his own brand of humor to the mix. The band has appeared on Midwest Country Show, which airs on RFD-TV Network. Together they have won many awards.
Don and Lori Behm have a storied music history. Don formed his first band. “The Polka Chips,” in 1955 while still in high school. In 1957 two more friends joined and the band became known as “Roger’s Jolly Dutchmen.” In 1966 Don met Lori. After they married and had children old enough to play, they formed their own family band, which played for weddings, anniversaries and snow mobile events. In the 1970’s the band was very much in demand. In 1980 when one child married and another went off to college, Don and Lori started over as a two-piece band known as “Just Us Two.”
Clarence Hayden and his five-piece “Royal Country Band,” will be joined by country singer, Janie Preston for the Welcome Home event. Hayden grew up in Wann, Oklahoma, one of 13 children on a farm with old-fashioned work ethics. As a young man, Hayden “cowboyed” for 20 years working on or managing ranches in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas before his love for Cowboy and Western music led to his forming his own band in the mid 1990’s.
His career took him to Nashville where he opened for Tommy Cash, Bobbie Bare, Gene Watson and Jeanine Shepherd. He has appeared at the Midwest Country Theatre, which led to work on the RRFD-TV Network. His song, “Lord I Depend on You” became the number one song in 2009 on RRA Christian Radio Network.
Hayden was inducted to the National Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. The Rural Roots Music Commission named is CD, “My Kind of Country,” as best CD of the year in 2009.
Grupo Folklorico Cascabel from Sharyland High School will be performing at 3:30 p.m. The group’s mission is to preserve and share their heritage through colorful and lively representations.